Co-development of healthier reformulated successful food products in South-Ostrobothnia (orig. Terveellisemmäksi reformuloitujen menestysruokatuotteiden yhteiskehittäminen Etelä-Pohjanmaalla)

European Union European Regional Development Fund logo
leverage from the EU 2014-2020
In the commercialization of health-promoting food products, it not enough to just offer new nutritionally improved reformulated options, even though their development work must continue in the future as well. In order for consumers to be more likely to turn to these alternatives, consumers need convenient and readily available help. Customized lifestyle guidance communication services based on the preferences and behaviors of the identified consumer groups provide a possible solution to this. The study explores the drivers and barriers of healthy food choices by Finnish and European consumer groups in collaboration with the South Ostrobothnian and international partner consortium.

The aim of the project is to find out what kind of innovative products, services and their combinations commercial operators can develop to support consumer well-being efforts. In co-operation with an interdisciplinary research team and business network, the project will develop new openings for businesses and food service operators to commercialize healthy products nationally and internationally. The 24-month project implements a set of product development and consumer research in which offering and consuming products reformulated as healthy is combined in terms of choice stimuli that strengthen the healthy = tasty association at critical moments. The researched products are healthy reformulated products typically included in the Finnish diet, with the nutritional profile adjusted in line with WHO recommendations (less salt / fat / sugar).

The project also aims to build an extensive well-being-themed consortium formed by research institutes and companies operating in South-Ostrobothnia. The consortium will  network internationally with similar consortiums.

At the end of the project, the consortium has produced research material on the basis of which the participating companies can better commercialize their health promoting products both nationally and internationally, by combining them with communication concepts that support healthy food choices as well as different tailor-made services for the target groups. The research also has a public health dimension, since target group-driven communication can increase the likelihood of consumers making healthy food choices while strengthening the healthy=tasty -intuition among the population (and further dampening the unhealthy=tasty -intuition which is still strong in some consumer groups).

Project leader at University of Vaasa: Harri Luomala

Other researchers: Maija Kantola

Project duration
External funding for the University of Vaasa
113 524€
Units and groups
Project actors at the University of Vaasa
Marketing and Consumption Research
Marketing and Communication
Organisation coordinating the project